Monday, November 19, 2012

Monster sightings after 1903

This "new, improved" model of Conn's "Monster Sousaphone," first seen in 1903, and featured in the two posts below, seems to have stood the test of time - at least in Sousa's Band. From what I can tell, no other large, four-valve horn ever appears in that group for the remainder of its existence (ending in 1932, with Sousa's death).

For example, here it is in 1905 at Willow Grove, PA, being held (I think) by Jack Richardson:

Photo courtesy of the Sousa Archives
And here it is in 1907 at the Corn Palace in Mitchell, SD, presumably held by Richardson again:

Photo courtesy of the Sousa Archives
And here it is in South Africa, during the world tour of 1911, being held this time by Arthur Griswold:

Photo courtesy of the Sousa Archives
And now for a few "close-ups"; here is William Bell holding the horn in 1921 at Willow Grove:

Photo courtesy of Paul Bierley, The Incredible Band of John Philip Sousa, p. 60
And sometime later in the 20s (1927, I believe), here is Jack Richardson once again with that horn:

Photo courtesy of the Sousa Archives
Of course, there is no way to tell whether this is the same exact Sousaphone throughout these years, but it seems clear enough that it is the same exact model. And along with the horn up at Interlochen, there are at least a handful of these Sousaphones that can still be seen today, but I'll save that for the next post.

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